Vol. 10, No. 7 – January 4 – January 17, 2017 – Opinion/Editorial

• Just a few of the more notable Ventura events in 2016. There were certainly a lot more, so sorry if I missed some of the more important ones.

  • Museum of Ventura County temporally closes galleries (will re-open in a few days)
  • Ventura County Fair has record attendance
  • Midtown parking structure completed by the new CMH under construction
  • Professor Scamp becomes write-in presidential candidate (another dog won)
  • There was an oil spill in Hall Canyon
  • Ventura Breeze goes all color and begins 10th year of publication
  • There was a ground breaking for Kellogg Park in West Ventura
  • Ventura Park Ambassadors started working with the homeless in city parks and the Promenade
  • Carl Morehouse announced he wasn’t running for another term on City Council (served 17 years)
  • Matt LaVere elected to City Council to replace Carl
  • Venturans approve 4 city ballot measures including a tax increase
  • Sondermann Ring large development project located at Harbor breaks ground after 16-years
  • Ventura celebrates 150th anniversary
  • Construction on California Street Bridge Pedestrian Project starts(will be completed any day now)
  • Brooks Institute announces plan to move into downtown Ventura including behind City Hall
  • Brooks Institute closing leaving many in shock
  • Ventura Pier re-opens after repair to damage caused by large waves
  • City buys Harbor Community Church for $2.3 million
  • Venturan’s approve State new marijuana laws by 59%
  • There were 2 murders on Dec.4. The probable suspects in both cases have been identified and arrested

Several notable Venturan’s passed away. These are just a few of the people who made a large contribution to Ventura:

  • Sandra Laby
  • Howard Boroughs
  • Don Haskell
  • Ed Warren
  • Jim Spencer
  • Linda Elder
  • Warren Gavin
  • Lynn Jacobs
  • Jim Mangis

• Two new super markets are coming to Ventura. Not the usual ones that you might familiar with. Grocery Outlet Bargain Market will be located where Ralphs was previously at 9300 Telephone and Sprouts Farmers Market is coming at the shuttered Sports Authority space at 4870 Telephone Rd. (in the Kohls/Barnes & Noble shopping center).

• In a complaint filed in 2013, Jarrod Matthew Wilfert claimed he was terminated without warning on March 13, 2012 by the Oxnard Police Department as a direct result of comments made by officials and officers from the Ventura Police Department. Wilfert had been a VPD officer for nearly four years.

He claimed that officers at the Ventura Police Department made untruthful and disparaging remarks about him which resulted in Oxnard firing him.

He hired an attorney for wrongful termination and sued the City, a jury trial was set for Dec. 2016. Ventura and Wilfert have agreed to settle the wrongful termination suit for $25,000 avoiding the jury trial. This amount is much less than the City would have spent on outside legal fees.

The City is still involved in a legal case involving former Ventura Risk Manager Ellis Green, who was let go in July 2015. Green is suing the city also alleging wrongful termination, saying he was subjected to discrimination for his age, gender, race and disability. He claims the City failed to make reasonable accommodations for his end-stage renal disease.

The City disputes Green’s claims, alleging he was “unable to perform the essential functions of the position” with or without reasonable accommodations.

Green worked for the city for 15 years and served one term on the Port Hueneme city council.

• As you know, we have a feature in the paper called Answer In A Breeze. To this point, we have been able to answer reader’s question – until this time.

A while back Jaime Baker (reader and Breeze employee) asked us (in part), “See if you can find out anything from the city about the spraying of toxic chemicals in a field near Wells and Darling. This is a very bad situation and anyone who lives in the area should be very concerned. The workers who sprayed the field were wearing hazmat suits and gas masks. The smell was so intense that for 2 days we really didn’t want to go outside.”

We contacted Ventura City Manager Mark Watkins to help with this question. He replied, “I drive by the parcel and noticed the mustard and when it was gone but was not aware of any spraying. The parcel is owned by the Broome family, and it is outside city limits in unincorporated area. They are represented by Kioren Moss, Real Estate Appraisers & Advisors perhaps you should contact them.”

We contacted Kioren Moss but never received an answer to our inquiry. Perhaps this mention will get us an answer.

• The average temperature in 2015 was 1.62 degrees higher than the 20th century average, and 2016 will break that record.

• Beginning January 1, 2017 you will be breaking the law if you’re caught holding a cellphone or other electronic device while driving in California.

Assembly Bill 1785 requires those who use a cellphone while driving to either place it in a 7-square-inch (that’s about 3”x2.33”) lower area of the windshield farthest from the driver or a 5-square-inch space in the lower windshield corner nearest them. Drivers also will be able to put the phone on the dashboard, provided it doesn’t block their view of the road or keep an airbag from deploying (time to find out where and how your airbag deploys).

So if you are pulled over by a police officer and he is caring a tape measure you might be in trouble. You should also carry your own tape measure so you can dispute the officer’s measurements if necessary.

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